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Appleton, WI

Jan 3 Homily Connect: Becoming Inclusive Like Jesus

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

IS 60: 1-6, EPH 3:2-3A, 5-6, MT 2:1-2

Scripture

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

Wise Men and Wise Women

  • What’s the difference?
  • The image stretches our hearts
  • The transformative Word of God, should get us thinking

The Magi-Scripture Scholars

  • Greek word magoi was used more inclusively to include women
  • Perhaps more wise people came from distant lands
  • Scripture does not state number of visitors – only three gifts
  • May have been from Persia-word magoi was common place
  • Maybe from Babylon (modern day Iraq) where astrology/astronomy common sciences
  • Perhaps from Arabia where frankincense and gold are found

Hebrew Scriptures – Queen of Sheba

  • Traveled great distance to pay homage to King Solomon
  • She was known as a wise woman

Outsiders in the Christmas Story

  • The Three Visitors
  • The Shepherds
  • Jesus the King

Becoming Inclusive Like Jesus

  • No one is excluded from his unconditional love
  • Everyone has a place at his table
  • There must be room at our Eucharistic Table
  • Eucharist is “medicine for the wounded” Pope Francis
  • We are all wounded
  • Are we all not worthy that the Lord “should come under our roof

No one is “Foreign” to the Lord

  • Lord, help us to see the gifts in the lives of all people
  • Outsiders can present the gold of virtue
  • Outsiders can present the incense of prayer
  • Outsiders can present the myrrh of suffering

Who are today’s Outsiders? Outsider’s in our Church?

  • Our black sisters and brothers or immigrant sisters and brothers
  • Our gay sisters and brothers or sisters who are women
  • Our sisters and brothers who are Moslem, Buddhist or Jewish
  • Our sisters and brothers who are divorced and remarried

We ask the Wise Women and Men, who were so close to the Lord and especially the outsiders who were received as insiders by Jesus, to pray for us!

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from today’s Readings and/or homily?
  • Name modern day inclusive Wise Women and Men who you admire.
  • How are they like Jesus? How can you be like them, like Him?

Live Connected

  • Pray for ways in 2021 to become more aware of the Wise men and Women in your midst. Consider the gifts they might bring to your life.
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